Replies to SFWA's YA/MG group
It's awkward now, though, because I've had a few responses to my original post there. To answer those responses would be to continue a discussion they don't want. To not answer allows their assumptions about me and other SFWA members to go unchallenged. So I'm going to respond here, where they don't have to be bothered by it unless they actively seek it out.
I just got a mostly polite response from a writer who said that she spends enough time teaching writing already, and just needs time to hang out with her peers. That assumes that I and other SFWA-qualified-but-not-yet-YA-published authors want to join the group because we want or expect active teaching on their part. Actually, I just wanted to read the posts, and planned to respond only if I felt I had something in particular to contribute. I certainly did not intend to ask someone to recommend me to their agent, or to tell me how to break into YA, or to tell me how to write a query letter, or to explain what YA is.
I had also gotten a snarky response from someone who has a reputation as a bit of an ass. He told me with false and sarcastic humility that even though he's published xyz amount of YA, he was satifisfied just to be there and listen to and learn from the experts, whereas I wanted to whine about why they don't consider me an equal. However, if they had let me simply listen to and learn from the experts in the first place -- in an organization for which I've already jumped through the membership hoops and for which I pay the same dues he does -- I wouldn't have had reason to post my objections to their exclusinoary policy in the first place. (In the interests of full disclosure, I repsonded to that post by saying that I had asked a question, gotten an answer, apologized for not knowing where to find the information myself, said thank you, and said I was dropping it. I did that because I thought his would be the last response to my post. But once I got another response, the more polite one from the other author, I decided that I would respond here if I felt the need.)
Ironically, the snarky author had already annoyed some of the others in the group by asking the very type of YA-101 question they wanted to avoid. It's a question I wouldn't have needed to ask because I read a whole lotta YA genre fiction.
They claim to have wanted a safe place to have their discussions, which I guess means a place they won't be badgered by their fellow SFWA members. Because of their exclusionary policy, with which a lot of people have expressed disagreement, they do feel badgered. But they don't seem to understand the irony that they created the very "badgerment" themselves.